Chocolate Panforte

Unlike most fruitcakes, this one is ready to eat as soon as it cools.

  • Yield: Makes 1 nine-inch cake

Source: Martha Stewart Living


  • 4 ounces whole hazelnuts (3/4 cup)
  • Soft butter, for pan
  • 3 ounces dried cherries (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 3 ounces best-quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/4 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon best-quality cocoa powder


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread nuts on a baking pan. Bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Rub warm nuts in a clean kitchen towel to remove skins. Set aside.

  2. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with soft butter, fit with circle of parchment, brush parchment with butter, and set aside.

  3. Combine fruit, nuts, brandy, and chocolates in a medium bowl; set aside. Sift 1 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl.

  4. Combine honey and sugar in a saucepan. Stirring, bring sugar to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Combine with dried-fruit mixture, stirring until combined. Fold in flour; mix to combine. Pour into prepared pan.

  5. With wet hands or a small metal spatula, press the mixture to form a level layer. Combine the remaining 1/2 tablespoon flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and cocoa. Sift over unbaked cake. Bake until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool. Gently brush off flour coating before serving.


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